Prince Charles has 'no purpose' until Queen dies, says 'The Crown' actor

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read
Josh O'Connor plays Charles in seasons three and four of The Crown. (Getty Images)
Josh O'Connor plays Prince Charles in seasons three and four of The Crown. (Getty Images)

Prince Charles has “no purpose” until the Queen dies, according to the actor who plays the young Prince of Wales in Netflix’s The Crown.

Josh O’Connor took on the role of Charles through his university years in season three of the Netflix show and is set to reprise his role for the fourth season.

He said it was “just bizarre” for Charles’s life to only have meaning when the Queen dies and he accedes to the throne as king.

He told Esquire UK: “For me, that’s the juicy stuff.

“The question of having to wait for your mum to die in order for your life to have meaning, and what that means for a young man. It’s just bizarre.

“Charles doesn’t necessarily want power, but until she dies, what the hell is he doing? What is his existence? He has no purpose.”

Read more: Prince Charles to let tenants off rent on royal land amid coronavirus crisis

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 02: Josh O'Connor at the "The Crown" Set Visit at undisclosed location on March 02, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)
Josh O'Connor, here in March 2020, plays a young Prince Charles in Netflix's The Crown. (WireImage)

Charles, 71, is the longest-serving Prince of Wales, and during his tenure, has worked on dozens of projects and alongside hundreds of charities.

During the coronavirus lockdown, he quickly adapted to technology, shifting his meetings to video calls and recording messages for, and on behalf of, his charities.

Read more: Jonathan Pryce will be Prince Philip in final two series of 'The Crown'

The Prince of Wales Trust has supported thousands of young people in work and education over the years and he has been a champion of the environment for five decades.

O’Connor, 30, also compared the Royal Family to the fictional gangster family the Sopranos, as he confessed he didn’t know anything about them.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales smiles as he meets key workers from Transport for London who have worked throughout the Covid-19 pandemic on July 2, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Charles, here meeting key workers in London in July 2020, carries out hundreds of engagements a year. (Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 02: Emma Corrin and Josh O'Connor at the "The Crown" Set Visit at undisclosed location on March 02, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)
Emma Corrin plays Diana alongside Josh O'Connor's Charles. (WireImage)

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O’Connor said he was playing a character based on Charles rather than the man himself, adding: “Like all great television shows, in my opinion it’s about family, and the politics of family. And that’s what’s interesting.

“But ultimately, at its heart, it is Succession, it’s The Sopranos, it’s about family, the nastiness and competitiveness and the love and insecurity, and all the things that we love to see play out. That’s what makes it successful.”

The actor, who has previously expressed republican views, also spoke about the advantage of his lack of knowledge of royal affairs, saying: “It’s quite useful, because if anyone tries to trick you into saying anything about the real royal family, I can’t, because I don’t know anything.

“When we went over to the Golden Globes, people were asking us about Harry and Meghan and I had to say, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’. Because I really don’t.”

The Crown season four airs on Netflix later this year. Esquire UK September/October issue is out now.